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Antinori Center for the Arts

Antinori Center for the Arts

Jesuit High School celebrated the Grand Opening of the new Antinori Center for the Arts at a special ceremony on Thursday, March 30. (Click here for a special video of the ceremony, click here to view a photo slideshow)

School president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. bestowed a blessing on the Arts Center, Nina Wegmann led the Jesuit orchestra, and Ron Antinori '60, whose generous $2 million gift made the Arts Center possible, performed the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. 

Immediately following the ceremony and a reception in the spacious lobby – the 200 guests also toured the facility – the Jesuit Masque, the school’s theatre club under the direction of Richard Miller, performed “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” – the first of four shows over three days of the school’s annual Spring Performance.

The 32,000-square foot facility for Jesuit’s exceptional music, theatre, and fine arts programs will transform the arts at Jesuit, providing an elegant and worthy space for the abundance of talented and creative students and inspiring faculty – and position Jesuit as a leader in the arts in the Tampa Bay area.

The magnificent arts center was designed by Alfonso Architects, and The Beck Group led the construction effort. Among its many beautiful features are the 2,100 square foot lobby that soon will be adorned with three large murals by acclaimed sacred artist Raul Berzosa of Malaga, Spain.

Students returning from Spring Break began taking classes this month inside the Antinori Center. Music students are rehearsing in the 4,300-square foot Bailey Family Music Wing, named for the Bailey Family Foundation, which donated $1 million toward the Arts Center.

The Arts Center is named in honor of Susan and Ron Antinori ’60, who in 2019 made a $2 million gift toward Phase II of the school’s Campus Master Plan. Ron Antinori is the founder and CEO of Antinori Software, Inc. (later Carreker-Antinori, Inc.). He also founded Rapido!, a classical music composition competition, and has served on the Board of The Atlanta Opera and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Fine arts students are utilizing the Studio Art room and the 3D Art Room, and the state-of-the-art facility also features a Black Box Theater as well as a spacious Scene Shop for creating the sets for performances such as “Robin Hood” that take place in Shembekar Auditorium. Named for the Shembekar Family – Dr. Anita Shembekar and her sons Jackson Shembekar '21, Preston Shembekar '22, and Colin Shembekar '25 –  the 5,200-square foot auditorium holds 439 patrons. All three Shembekar sons are musicians, and they performed on violin together on stage a few moments before the curtain was raised for "Robin Hood."  

Jesuit’s Campus Master Plan has been made possible by the school’s $50 million ‘For Greater Glory’ campaign. Phase I of the master plan included the Chapel of the Holy Cross; Oliva Courtyard; a stately perimeter wall that gives the school a collegiate presence; and Gonzmart Hall, a 32,000-square foot administration and student services building that is a dynamic and enduring presence along Himes Ave.